As a buyer looking for the perfect outplacement provider, it's important that you understand where your money is going and what the outplacement process looks like overall to ensure you choose the right one.
Not all providers follow the same outplacement process, making it hard for HR departments to choose the one that makes the most sense for their own needs. So, to help, here are the 10 things you should consider when shopping around.
Before we start, one of the best tools you can use during a downsizing event is a layoff script. Not only does having a script make the process less stressful, it also keeps you on track to deliver the information you need to, such as how the employee's severance package works, what the outplacement process will be like, and more. Get our complimentary layoff script here:
Outplacement Process: 10 Things to Consider From Your Provider
1. Engagement: Does the outplacement provider proactively engage your employees both initially and ongoing and how? Is their overall outplacement process intuitive? Is it easy for an employee to know what to do and when? Are there guides to help participants through the outplacement process? If the services aren't simple to navigate and easy to understand, you are wasting your company's money and your employee's time.
2. Accessibility: Does the provider offer flexible hours throughout the outplacement process? Can their services be accessed multiple ways? Depending on your employee's needs, the flexibility to access services in off-hours, including nights and weekends, can be invaluable.
3. Flexibility: Does the provider offer the flexibility to effectively meet your demand for the service through the entire outplacement process? Look for a provider that is willing to be innovative to meet your needs and has the ability to ebb and flow with your succession and workforce plan.
4. Personal and Personalized: Is there a human element to the service? Is the service personalized to each individual? Virtual benefits aside, losing the personal touch in a career transition program is almost never a good idea. The most effective providers incorporate this smoothly throughout the outplacement process as a baseline, and also have some element of personal attention and customization within the outplacement offering.
5. Service- Focused: What is the provider's service delivery model throughout the outplacement process? How much of their business is focused on outplacement? What is the account management structure and the experience? How will they communicate with you? All of your HR Technology vendors should practice great services but it's especially important when looking at outplacement providers.
6. Strategic Partner: How will the provider support you more strategically during a RIF or layoff? Finding an outplacement provider that can be a service partner, as well as offering a product or platform for your transitioning employee, is a baseline need for your organization. With all the discussion surrounding HR being an integrated and efficient function, it makes sense to look for a partner, rather than just a vendor.
7. Technology: How does the provider leverage technology to support their service and speed a person's transition throughout the entire outplacement process? Are they using best-in-class practices such as gamification? Social media? Personalization? How much do they spend on R&D? How frequently do they enhance their technology? In today's job seeker world, technology is critical for both speed and efficiency. A lack of focus and investment in the most advanced technology throughout the outplacement process will be a detriment to both your employee and the company.
8. Strategic Partnerships: What strategic partnerships has the outplacement provider established through out their outplacement process? Look for a vendor who has advantageous partnerships. Outplacement providers should be able to point to partnership opportunities that will benefit the job seeker.
9. Proof Points: What metrics can the outplacement provider supply? What are their clients saying? How do they measure satisfaction? When considering a provider, pay attention to proof that the services work throughout the entire outplacement process. While many outplacement providers have different ways of proving their system works, the very least you should find is one that can be verified. Comparing the results from an outplacement provider against widely available statistics can help make choosing a platform simpler.
10. Pricing: What is the pricing model? What services are included in the pricing? Prices vary widely and the devil is in the details. Look for a provider who is willing to understand your needs and able to work flexibly with you on creative solutions and pricing throughout the outplacement process.
All ten of the items above should be addressed by a provider when discussing their outplacement process. It is important to ask questions similar to those above to gain a solid understanding of what to expect in every step of the outplacement process.
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